In English

Talk about it

Sometimes it’s difficult, even impossible, to talk about negative sexual experiences. About the times when our boundaries were violated, but we didn’t say anything. About times when we violated others without realizing it. About times when we violated ourselves. Initiating an honest conversation about sex and consent is scary. Reactions can be cold or even hostile towards those who try. Because of this, many people hold their tongue and put a lid on their thoughts – but that doesn’t make the thoughts go away.

In connection to a conversation regarding the media coverage of the Assange case, Swedish journalist Johanna Koljonen started to tweet, openly and intimately, about her own experiences of drawing lines and negotiating gray areas in sexual situations. Hundreds followed Koljonen’s example on Twitter under the hashtag #prataomdet (”#talkaboutit”). As a result of this, several Swedish magazines, newspapers and other media outlets are publishing pieces on the subject. In a matter of days international media, such as The Guardian, Die Welt, BBC World Service, Norway’s Dagbladet, Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat, and others have followed.

We need a language for sex that isn’t stifled by shame, we need to think about our boundaries as well as others’. Something is going to change. We are going to dare to #talkaboutit.

Are you a media representative who wants to get in touch? Contact us on press@prataomdet.se

Do you want to tell your story, or contribute to the conversation in some other way? Awesome! Unfortunetaly, we are so overwhelmed with responses right now that we can’t promise to publish stories – but what we can do is put up links to other blogs. Write your story as a blog post, send a link to talkaboutit@prataomdet.se, and we will make it happen. If you’re a novice to blogging, here’s a how-to to get you started.

Find more English language content here.

30 kommentarer till In English

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention In english | Prata om det -- Topsy.com

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  4. Pingback: Let’s #talkaboutit | Johanna Koljonen

  5. Emmi skriver:

    I wrote an essay inspired by the stories I read through #prataomdet and thought I’d share it with you. I originally published it with my name on it among people I know and I’m simply scared shitless to do so. What kind of a reaction will it cause? The text is in english because I think it will reach more people that way (and besides my swedish isn’t as good as it used to be).

    Good sex is surprisingly rare: a sum of the right people, experiences, expectations and moods meeting at the very right moment in a universe of possibilities. How many of the thousands (?) of sexual intercourses happening right now are of actual mutual consent and enjoyment? How many were forced or convinced into having sex, how many are too tired to resist, how many people find it impossible to say no?

    Us western people are facing a big change: the entire culture of sex is reforming. People have had the right to decide for their own bodies for a time that seems fairly long, but the time for honest sexual communication has not actually even begun yet. We are not yet free.

    I can speak for my own experiences, which are of the like I have seen many other people talk about as well. I have woken up to find my boyfriend’s hand in my crotch; I have been half-forced into having intercourse; I’ve endured physical pain during sex multiple times; I have been overpowered by a man’s lust unable to say no. I have had a strange man force himself into my bed even though I told him no tens of times. I have been so afraid of sex I have gotten into panic attacks to avoid it.

    None of this has seemed wrong to these partners in question, but they are not the only ones to blame: I wasn’t able to say no for a very long time. To my shock was that when I finally learned to, it had little or no effect at all. I heard the words ”you can always say no and I will stop” incalculable times, but there have been times when I have said no and the other one has then tried to persuade me into changing that no into a yes. It somehow reminds me of debating with a telemarketer: I do not want it nor do I need it, but somehow the salesperson either tires me by nagging for too long and makes me give in so I could go on with my life, or finds an argument I can’t disagree with: ”You must want it cause you’re so wet.” Well, excuse my body for responding to you stimulating my genitalia. I, me, my mind, my will, still does not want it.

    This is where we are still going wrong after some thousand years of existence. People can’t say no because they’re afraid of getting hurt, someone else getting hurt, feeling incompetent, their spouse feeling incompetent, and all the while these people are making sex a nasty chore by not saying a word and demanding it to be enjoyable, when they want it, how they want it. And still after getting the big word no out of their mouths, this is where a relationship comes to a test: whether the ”no” is heard, understood and processed or ignored and passed off as something irrelevant ”because my judgement blurred by desire and blood rushing from one end of the body to another is telling me you must want this as well”.

    We are all to blame, both the ones demanding as well as the ones silently giving in. I, too, have been a victim of the ”lousy girlfriend syndrome”: If I do not give him some he’ll tire of me and find someone else. In a healthy relationship saying no to sex does not make you a bad spouse, but to most people that is not as clear as it should be.

    I want people to talk about this. I want people to start a new era of sex, where no one in a relationship should be a victim of sexual abuse just beause the partner doesn’t realise he’s doing something wrong. Rape is a different and a very serious matter, of course, but this is something extremely relevant if we aim to reach a more open level of communication. Is it any wonder we’re at such an unbalanced state as individuals and mankind if we keep on being afraid with the people we love the most?

    • Salman skriver:

      Don’t ask what will happen tomorrow, whatever the sum of days given to you, think of it as treasure. And when you are young, never say no to dancing and sweet desire :)

  6. andreas tietz skriver:

    thanks for your open words! and making as all think again or for the first time….

    andreas

  7. andreas tietz skriver:

    thanks for your open words! that making as all think again or for the first time….
    and isn’t it nice, how one thing triggers another -seemingly not of the same kind but in the depths one can feel the link of violence in the bedroom of evereybody and the violence of what one does on the battlefield and then, and then after doing so, if not while doing so, to make it a roleplay of victim and abuser, and because of not realy talking about it, not realy feeling the hole incident of what is beeing done and said, not beeing done and not beeing said but had to be said and done though, as you openly tell us, than the hole event is beeing lied about, is held secret, is put in the subconcious, is told the world of not beeing true, of not whats beeing happened. and so it will happen again. so, its wonderfull that you took the chance and courage to show us another, a real personal side, our own personal side of the same war and its hurtfull veeiling mystycism around. its some other kind of whistle blowing, of making aware.
    heartfull andreas

  8. Teresa Axner skriver:

    Emmi: If you post this on a blog, we can put up a link to it on this site and more people would see it. Would you be OK with that?

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  16. Malik skriver:

    I left a girl who i was seeing for 5 months..beacuse that night i told her i hadnt had good sleep for two nights; even then I gave her good sex for two hours and then told her to go to sleep…but she destroyed my night moaning and touching me all night…she wanted more…. I never saw her after that……

  17. RedWhiteBluBlk skriver:

    Is it me or is this sex thing just becoming more and more difficult? First, you grow up as a young male feeling like its impossible for a girl to want sex as much as you do because at the time your hormones are at a constant sprint. Then as you get into your early twenties you find young women who have what seems to be the same sex drive as you. Reading some of these posts leads me to believe that a good number of those young women are simply women who are afraid to say no or they feel like the sex will keep you interested.
    So, where is the line? Being honstly interested in someone is a different subject that simply being sexually attracted. As much as us men would like to believe that we know the difference between the woman who wants sex and the woman who is interested in you as a person….its impossible to know. Especially when sex is introduced to the relationship early on.
    So, as men, we cant help our very natural urge to first be attracted physically. Then hope the rest falls into place (if that’s what you’re in it for). Thats our shortcoming. But what can be said for women who use sexual attraction to get the attention of a man? Is that the shortcoming of a woman? It does instantly put that potential relationship into jeopardy. From then on its left to the man to see past the sexual attration (which is damn near impossible).
    I think the real questions are the subjects before sex. Men, do we only want sex? If so, women, would you use sex to attract a man? What do you expect of a man if thats the way you got him?
    I think if you first have a man’s heart he will give you the rest of himslef. If you first have his body, he will never give you the rest of himslef. If you first have a woman’s heart, she will give your the rest of herself. If you first have her body….that could also lead to her giving the rest of herslef. So, as men, why are we ecpected to change?

  18. chris skriver:

    I just wrote a blog about a lot of this, and thought you might be interested, especially regarding the Wolf-Friedman debate recently on Democracy Now, and the issue of consent. It’s called The Politics of Consent, The Politics of Feminism.

    thanks for a very interesting post.

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